After 9 years, Duterte now allows new mining agreements in PH

After nine years, the new mining agreements are now allowed in the Philippines after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the ban implemented by his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, in 2012.

Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) 130, which states that the government “may enter into new mineral agreements, subject to compliance with the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations.”

According to the EO, Duterte said the Philippines so far has utilized less than 5% of its mineral resources endowment.

The EO assigned the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to “formulate the terms and conditions in the new mineral agreements that will maximize revenues and share from production, including the possibility of declaring these areas as mineral reservations to obtain appropriate royalties, in accordance with existing laws, rules, and regulations.”

DENR would also review the existing mining contracts and agreements for possible renegotiation of the terms and conditions.

After 9 years, Duterte now allows new mining agreements in PH

Meanwhile, DENR and the Department of Finance would rationalize existing revenue sharing schemes and mechanisms.

EO 130 insisted that new mining agreements could boost economic growth needed to support programs such as the Build, Build, Build and the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program.

The national hopes that lifting the ban in new mining agreements would increase employment opportunities in remote rural areas where there are mining activities “thereby stimulating countryside development.”

DENR conducted a thorough review of the regulatory framework of the mining industry and “has [put] in place additional rules, regulations, and policies providing for and enhancing environmental safeguards to ensure that mining operations observe environmental protection” before lifting the ban.

EO 130 also allows DENR to continue the issuance of Exploration Permits under existing laws, rules, and guidelines.

“The recipients of such exploration permits will have the rights under the said laws, rules, and over the approved exploration area and given the right of first option to develop and utilize the minerals in their respective exploration area upon the approval of the declaration of mining project feasibility,” it said.